Using the Internet to make Anti-Semitism Respectable

Clarice Feldman
Lee Smith details how the internet is being employed by media companies to spread anti-semitism:
If not quite as popular as adult-content sites, the anti-Israel blogosphere is a dirty little thrill that major U.S. media outfits have mainstreamed for the masses, the intellectual equivalent of the topless "Page Three" girls that British tabloids use to boost circulation. Among the dozens of blogs and websites obsessed with Israel and the machinations of the U.S. Israel lobby, Phillip Weiss' Mondoweiss (a project of The Nation Institute), Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish (part of The Atlantic's website), Glenn Greenwald's blog on Salon, and Stephen Walt's blog on ForeignPolicy.com (owned by The Washington Post Company) sit atop the junk-heap.

"Whenever one of these guys writes about me, I can tell without having looked at their blogs, because my inbox quickly fills with anti-Semitic invective," says The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, a Tablet Magazine contributing editor and a frequent target of the anti-Israel bloggers. "Whenever I see a subject line with something like ‘You fascist Zionazi,' it's pretty much assured the link in the email will lead back to a post from one of these guys."

[snip]

While it is true that Walt covers a wide range of international subjects in his blog, nothing provokes the same amount of reader feedback as his posts about Israel. Last week, a post on the Russian spy scandal received 14 comments; another post during the same period, enumerating what Walt considers the "five big questions about contemporary world politics," fared a bit better, garnering 53 responses. In the eyes of Walt's readership, however, those five major issues are dwarfed by the significance of his post concerning the Emergency Committee for Israel, a new pro-Israel organization founded by William Kristol, which was commented on 378 times.

These numbers suggest that the purpose of Walt's blog is to act as a magnet for the animus of a readership hostile not only to Israel but also to American figures friendly to Israel, especially American Jews. Whether that bothers the owners of The Washington Post or thrills the advertising staff is another question. Jeffrey Goldberg believes that big media companies have morally blinded themselves to the ramifications of using anti-Semitism to attract readers. "I suppose that to the managers of Foreign Policy, traffic is traffic," Goldberg says. "But in the course of building that traffic they're surfacing some fairly dreadful invective about Jews. I don't think they'd be comfortable surfacing the same kind of invective about African-Americans or other groups. But there seems to be a high tolerance for hosting a Jew-baiting blog."

h/t:RL

Clarice Feldman



Lee Smith details how the internet is being employed by media companies to spread anti-semitism:

If not quite as popular as adult-content sites, the anti-Israel blogosphere is a dirty little thrill that major U.S. media outfits have mainstreamed for the masses, the intellectual equivalent of the topless "Page Three" girls that British tabloids use to boost circulation. Among the dozens of blogs and websites obsessed with Israel and the machinations of the U.S. Israel lobby, Phillip Weiss' Mondoweiss (a project of The Nation Institute), Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish (part of The Atlantic's website), Glenn Greenwald's blog on Salon, and Stephen Walt's blog on ForeignPolicy.com (owned by The Washington Post Company) sit atop the junk-heap.

"Whenever one of these guys writes about me, I can tell without having looked at their blogs, because my inbox quickly fills with anti-Semitic invective," says The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, a Tablet Magazine contributing editor and a frequent target of the anti-Israel bloggers. "Whenever I see a subject line with something like ‘You fascist Zionazi,' it's pretty much assured the link in the email will lead back to a post from one of these guys."

[snip]

While it is true that Walt covers a wide range of international subjects in his blog, nothing provokes the same amount of reader feedback as his posts about Israel. Last week, a post on the Russian spy scandal received 14 comments; another post during the same period, enumerating what Walt considers the "five big questions about contemporary world politics," fared a bit better, garnering 53 responses. In the eyes of Walt's readership, however, those five major issues are dwarfed by the significance of his post concerning the Emergency Committee for Israel, a new pro-Israel organization founded by William Kristol, which was commented on 378 times.

These numbers suggest that the purpose of Walt's blog is to act as a magnet for the animus of a readership hostile not only to Israel but also to American figures friendly to Israel, especially American Jews. Whether that bothers the owners of The Washington Post or thrills the advertising staff is another question. Jeffrey Goldberg believes that big media companies have morally blinded themselves to the ramifications of using anti-Semitism to attract readers. "I suppose that to the managers of Foreign Policy, traffic is traffic," Goldberg says. "But in the course of building that traffic they're surfacing some fairly dreadful invective about Jews. I don't think they'd be comfortable surfacing the same kind of invective about African-Americans or other groups. But there seems to be a high tolerance for hosting a Jew-baiting blog."

h/t:RL

Clarice Feldman